Monday, July 22, 2013

Self-Awareness: In the Beginning

This week I am going to talk about the most important quality of a servant leader: self awareness.

I have always been a speaker. For starters, I was the child who used to get into trouble in school for talking too much.

Perhaps the biggest influence in my life when it comes to speaking has to be my father. He was a classroom teacher, so speaking was not foreign to him. As I have stated so many times, he was also our town's high school basketball coach. Some of the best motivational speeches I have ever heard came during halftime of his games. What a lot of people do not know is how often my father was asked to speak at local churches for Sunday morning service. He was a dynamic speaker. I vividly remember listening to him practice for those speeches. They were powerful.

When I was in middle school, my father borrowed a cassette tape series from our high school football coach. My dad would not allow me to listen to the tapes. I believe he thought that because I was so young I might damage the, so every day after school when he was at basketball practice, I used to slip into his bedroom, remove the tapes, and taken them to my bedroom. I would always return them before he came home. I listened to those tapes for hours at a time.

On the tapes, were speeches from the leading college football coaches of the 1970’s and early 1980’s. For instance, there was Lou Holz of the University of Notre Dame, Bo Schembechler of the University of Michigan, Tom Osborne of the University of Nebraska, and Vince Dooley of the University of Georgia. The one that sticks out the most was the speech by Coach Vince Dooley’s that was entitled, “The Will To Prepare.” It was about an artist friend of his who prepared incessantly before ever putting a paint brush on a canvas.

A couple of years ago, I thought about Coach Dooley’s speech, so I decided to call University of Georgia's Athletics Department to speak to him about getting a copy. Of course, his secretary answered the phone. I told her why I was calling. She told me to hold on and went to ask Coach Dooley about the tape. She came back to the phone laughing. She said that Coach Dooley had not thought of that tape in years. Nevertheless, a week or so later, my copy of “A Will to Prepare” arrived in the mail.

I am going to end the story here. This is not a tease. I am going somewhere with this story as you will hopefully see tomorrow.


  1. I hope before the week is over you attach a link to the speech.

  2. I am sorry. There is no speech. It's on a cassette tape. Do you remember what a cassette tape is? :))